LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky and Indiana leaders agreed to a key RiverLink contract on Friday, hiring a Tennessee-based company to manage equipment on the three Ohio River toll bridges.

The states’ joint board, the top decision making body for RiverLink, approved a deal with TransCore to add, operate and maintain cameras, scanners and other equipment that track vehicles. 

The move completes an overhaul of RiverLink operations the states announced in 2020 when officials decided to split a main contract into two: One for the roadside equipment and one to handle customer service and toll collections.

Kapsch TrafficCom, which has held the primary toll operations contract since RiverLink opened in late 2016, did not bid on the roadside work, said Ed Green, a joint board spokesman.

The four-member joint board selected Electronic Transaction Consultants of Texas last year for the back office work under a 10-year contract estimated at nearly $80 million.

Board member Mike Smith, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation, said during Friday's meeting in Louisville that the latest actions are "a signal of both states moving toward a more healthy operation on this account. And so I look forward to the enhancements and improvements that we're going to make."

TransCore is to be paid $18.33 million deal is over 7 years. The states split RiverLink costs.

ETC and TransCore are expected to be start their work by next year. 

In another move, the board approved the selection of Texas-based Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins & Mott LLP to collect outstanding tolls. 

Perdue Brandon will be paid 13 percent of all tolls and fees it collects, said Amanda Ratliff Spencer, innovative finance manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

The Indiana Finance Authority still must approve that contract at a meeting next week. But Dan Huge, the state's public finance director and a joint board member, said "we don't anticipate any issues there." 

The IFA previously recommended Perdue Brandon for the work.

Tolling began in late 2016 on the Interstate 65 Kennedy and Lincoln bridges and the Lewis and Clark Bridge, which connects Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky. It is scheduled to remain in place until the 2050s. 

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